Waters denounces Harkema film

Maverick American filmmaker John Waters has expressed his displeasure over the creation and release of the low-budget Canadian feature Leslie, My Name is Evil, which opens in theaters across Canada this Friday.

The film depicts one of the Charles Manson trials in an unrealistic, postmodern style, and in particular focuses on the infatuation one juror had with Leslie Van Houten, one of Manson’s followers who was charged with murder.

Waters (Cry Baby, Hairspray) has recently been on a campaign to see Van Houten, now 61, and still incarcerated in a California prison, paroled. In an e-mail response to Playback Daily, Waters stated that ‘Both myself and Leslie were horrified this movie made and I will never be able to watch it no matter what the intent.’

Waters went on to say ‘the title itself is appalling.’

In a series of articles Waters wrote for The Huffington Post last year, he expressed regret for his reference to the Manson murders in past films such as Multiple Maniacs or Female Trouble.

‘I have a really good friend who was convicted of killing two innocent people when she was 19 years old on a horrible night of 1969 cult madness. Her name is Leslie Van Houten and I think you would like her as much as I do’ he wrote. The HuffPo articles are excerpts from an upcoming book by Waters, Role Models.

The film’s writer-director, Reginald Harkema (Monkey Warfare), expressed surprise at Waters’ reaction to the feature, saying ‘It’s a bittersweet honor to have shocked and outraged the king of shock and outrage.’